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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | BEST BETS

May 02, 1996

FRIDAY: FULL BILL DEAL

Four bands for $12.50 is a deal these days when it may cost that much in gas to get to the gig in the first place. Economics aside, here's a Ventura Theatre event that sports a lineup of young groups that are ready and willing to be the next big thing. Heading the bill is the bluesy, alternative Freddy Jones Band, currently in the Capricorn Records stable. The Jones boys, out of Chicago and featuring no one named Freddy or Jones, are driving around trying to sell copies of their third album, "North Avenue Wake Up Call." In support are the Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies, Mind's Eye from Ventura and, out of Santa Barbara, Zoo Story. The Cheetah band has a new album, "Magnolia," just out on Atlantic. The Zoo band has a pair of pop-rock CDs to its credit, and Mind's Eye has a tape. Show time: 8 p.m. Call 648-1888.

SATURDAY: BOWING OUT

Bach's mighty B Minor mass will be brought to life in grand form when the Ventura County Chamber Orchestra and Ventura County Master Chorale team up for an 8 p.m. concert at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center, 800 Hobson Way. Soloists will be soprano Virginia Sublett, mezzo-soprano Adelaide Sinclair, tenor Grey Brothers and baritone Nmon Ford Livene. The concert serves as a season finale for the two performing groups, both directed by Burns Taft. Tickets are $10-$28. For more information, call 653-7282.

SUNDAY: SINGING THE BLUES--ETC.

Blues-cum-jazz singer Barbara Morrison, next up in the dinner-concert series at Wheeler Hot Springs, is a vocalist with a range to match her veteran status. Shifting from blues to jazz and back, with detours into gospel and pop, Morrison has been praised for her gutsy blues belting as well as her suave way with standards. She has been featured in tribute concerts to Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen MacRae and Nancy Wilson, and her resume includes work with Ray Charles, Jimmy Smith and Johnny Otis. Wheeler Hot Springs is located at 16825 Maricopa Highway, above Ojai. Prix-fixe dinner starts at 5:30, with the concert at 7:30. Tickets are $50. For more information, call 646-8131.

UP THE COAST

* The annual Oak Park Cultural Festivals series gets underway Sunday with the Jewish Festival. Held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., live entertainment will include two klezmer bands, belly dancers, plus folk-dance instruction, food booths, wine tasting and more. The free event is sponsored in part by the Santa Barbara Jewish Federation. The park is located on Pueblo Street in Santa Barbara. For more information, call 963-0244.

* UC Santa Barbara's fifth annual New Music Festival--a four-day affair kicking off today--will highlight the talents of composers and performers from Mexico. Aptly titled Festival De Mayo, the event is presented by the Ensemble for Contemporary Music and will include six concerts held at the campus and downtown Santa Barbara locations. Here's the schedule at a glance:

8 p.m. today:

Music of Aztec, Mayan and other cultures.

La Casa de la Raza, 601 E. Montecito St.

(Free)

3 p.m. Friday:

Ricardo Gallardo, percussion.

Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, UC Santa Barbara.

($5)

8 p.m. Friday:

Horacio Franco, recorder.

Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, UC Santa Barbara.

($7-$10)

3 p.m. Saturday:

Works by Leonard Velazquez and Jesus Villasenor.

Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, UC Santa Barbara.

($5)

6 p.m. Sunday:

Lobero Theatre

Finale concert features works by five guest composers.

($7-$12)

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